Reservoir and Fish Fires erupt in Angeles National Forest

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Two more fires have erupted, these in the Angeles National Forest near the towns of Asuza and Duarte. It appears the record-breaking heat wave has much to do with the fires. The temperatures in both locations has been over 100°f.

CalFire photo of the Reservoir Fire
CalFire photo of the Reservoir Fire

The Reservoir Fire broke out about 11 a.m. near Highway 39 in the San Gabriel Mountains — near the Morris Reservoir — and is believed to have been caused by a pickup truck that went off the road and caught fire. The driver was declared deceased by rescue crews on the scene.

According to the Angeles National Forest Twitter, “Crews are experiencing extreme fire behavior.” At this time about 600 acres have burned and there are about 300 firefighters, along with air crews, fighting this fire. There are mandatory evacuations of the town of Mountain Cove and San Gabriel Canyon.

About 90 minutes after the Reservoir Fire started the “Fish Fire” erupted near Brookridge Road and Opal Canyon Road near Duarte. Authorities describe the Fish Fire as “fast moving” and has spread to more than 400 acres.

Although no structures are reported damaged or in danger of being burned, evacuations have been ordered north of Fish Canyon, between Encanto Parkway and Greenbank.

Smoke from the fire visible from the I-10 in El Monte. (Claudia Gestro)
Smoke from the fire visible from the I-10 in El Monte. (Claudia Gestro)

The smoke from the fires can be seen across the Los Angeles Basin and residents are asked to avoid those areas.

Southern California is under a Red Flag Warning through Tuesday, with extreme temperatures expected for the next 24 hours. This morning LAPX reporter Claudia Gestro said the temperature in West Covina was 105°f at 11 a.m. Monday. The temperature in Duarte reached 106°f. Gestro also said the smoke was getting thick in the West Covina area, about six miles south of the fires.

Palm Springs broke a temperature record today when it reached 121°f. The previous record for this date was 118°f, set in 1929.

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UPDATE: 7 p.m.: CalFire is now reporting the Reservoir and Fish Fires have now consumed over 3.500 acres. Six hours earlier the two fires had burned 1,100 combined. It should be disconcerting to know that fire has tripled in size in just six hours.

We are also in a Flex Alert due to the heat wave, so have a transistor radio with fresh batteries for news of important alerts and evacuation orders, in the event the power goes out in your area.

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UPDATE: 8 a.m. June 21: The U.S. Forest Service is now reporting the two fires north of Asuza and Duarte, the Reservoir and Fish fires, have now grown and have burned over 4,500 acres.

The Reservoir Fire has grown to 2,400 acres and has no containment. As of this morning 234 firefighters are on the scene.

Mandatory evacuations are issued for Mountain Cove, Camp Williams, and Glendora Mountain Road. Highway 39 is closed.

The Fish Fire has grown to more than 3,000 acres with zero containment.

The responding agencies also want to note that you cannot fly drones — or other private manned aircraft — above or near any wildfires that are burning. They hinder the flight operations of the firefighting aircraft.

Top photo by Claudia Gestro, taken from the I-10 near Peck Rd. in El Monte.